Trip Photography

While editing photos, I got to (again) thinking about the number of photos I take per day when on trips. In the past, I've shot over one thousand when I'm doing aerial photography or have a great opportunity to shoot something really rare. Usually, however, it seems to be flexible between 150 - 400 photos per day depending on how occupied I may be beyond the camera, but even this is quite a range.

Here's a break-down of two recent trips of the same duration that are pretty much completely different in every other way.

Bike Touring the Denali Park Road & Denali Highway, August '13
Sony NEX-7 mirrorless: 1800 photos in 8 days = 225 photos/day average

Bernhard Lehnertz rides east towards Clearwater Creek on the Denali Highway. (c) Josh Spice 2013

Bernhard Lehnertz rides east towards Clearwater Creek on the Denali Highway. (c) Josh Spice 2013

Adventure Travel on the Big Island of Hawaii, January '14:
Canon SL1 dSLR: 1950 photos in 8 days = 244 photos/day average
(Excludes 600 photos in a few hours at the botanical garden on the last day)

The best part of the farmers' market is not the amazing fruit. (c) Josh Spice 2014

The best part of the farmers' market is not the amazing fruit. (c) Josh Spice 2014

Hawaii was hiking & driving, Denali was biking & one day on a bus.

Maybe half of the nights in Hawaii were spent outside versus almost all the nights on the Denali trip were camping.

Walking (Hawaii trip) is slower, allowing for more photos, but biking is more continually immersing than driving to places, so more photos can be taken continuously throughout the day instead of just specifically at each destination. There was a lot of time on the Hawaii trip just sitting in a car going to the next place.

Denali trip had more daylight hours to take photos (thank you Alaska summer), whereas in Hawaii, the sun is pretty much on a 12/12 cycle.

Camera type didn't seem to matter in the number of photos taken, which I'm happy about. It seems as if I still took all the photos I 'saw' or desired to capture. My enjoyment taking them was higher in Hawaii, however, in using a real SLR instead of a point-and-shoot camera with SLR capability. So... maybe camera type did produce more or less images?

I had the cameras readily accessible on both trips, mounted in a camera case just in front of my handlebars for the Denali trip and in a camera case slung over my shoulder and neck in Hawaii. The camera was accessible while riding the bike, but it obviously takes more skill to ride one-handed on a rough road and work a C-shaped zipper with an out-stretched arm than it is to stand in place and unclick a buckle on a case that is hanging off your body. This probably led to less photos on the Denali trip. 20 photos per day? Yeah, probably. I do remember quite a few times wanting to stop and get a shot, but didn't, for various reasons.

One thing based off of these last two points of camera type & accessibility is a closer look at the combination of those two factors instead of separately. While biking, it would be challenging to use an SLR with one hand, but a point-and-shoot style is much simpler. While hiking, I'd specifically choose the more complex camera for higher photographic ability, as...

Hiking vs biking: you can stop and get a shot anytime when hiking but when biking, there's all the downhills doing up to 45 mph... not stopping to get a shot then.

I keep my cameras on single shot mode almost all the time and did so on both of these trips.

Rain really wasn't an issue on either trip, having only to put the camera away once or twice on both trips, only for an hour or so.

What do I take away from all this? Well, having thought about this before, not much. Obviously, if it's raining or dark, if you're indoors or driving, or just super-consumed by whatever you're doing, you'll probably capture less photos. Beyond these obvious limitations, I'm most likely still going to see and capture about as many photo opportunities no matter what I'm doing on outdoor trips. Every place is different and every experience will therefore be, too.

What do you take away from all this?

Am I missing anything here? Any other thoughts? I'd love to hear 'em.